MMFF update: Hermano Puli backs out, Honor Thy Father next in line

By , on October 21, 2015

(Screengrab from Hermano Puli)
(Screengrab from Hermano Puli’s trailer)

MANILA – With historical biopic “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli” to be pulled out from this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) due to lack of financial backing, John Lloyd Cruz-starrer “Honor Thy Father” has been expected to take over the vacated slot.

In a text message to reporters, Hermano Puli director Gil Portes disclosed that his problem of looking for investors for the film made him decide to withdraw it from the film fest.

“This is a sad day for me. I’ve exhausted all the possible investors for Hermano Puli. I’ll make it official by informing MMFF today,” Portes said.

“Today I am e-mailing a letter of withdrawal for Hermano Puli in MMFF. God knows I gave my best to get investors, but it’s not meant to be produced now. I wish to thank you and your team for the support you gave the film. I’ll be forever grateful. ‘Til next film,” he added.

Hermano Puli was about 19th-century religious leader Apolinario De la Cruz of Lucban, Tayabas (Quezon province) who wanted to become a priest during a time when Indios (native Filipinos) were not allowed to become one.

Puli established a confraternity where he was referred to as ‘hermano mayor.’ He then led a revolt against the Spanish colonial rule in the name of religious freedom. However, he was later on arrested and killed by firing squad.

Teamwork Productions was the producer of the biopic but Quezon province Governor David Suarez was supposed to fund it in the 2015 MMFF. Suarez had already financed the script development and the pre-production of the movie but withdrew in July.

Portes tried to look for other possible financers but no one pledged monetary support in the end. Due to its withdrawal, Teamwork Productions’ P750,000 bond will be forfeited.

Set as a reserve entry, Honor Thy Father has been next in line among the MMFF entries. The crime drama film has already been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival last month where it gained positive reviews.

Wrapping up the MMFF are “All You Need is Pag-ibig,” “My Bebe Love,” “Beauty and the Bestie,” “Walang Forever,” “Nilalang,” “Haunted Mansion,” “Buy Now, Die Later.”